Dongers Club Members Meeting – May

I wanted to take some time to cover a few items that I felt needed their own article to discuss with you all.  So pull up a chair and check your Membership cards at the table as we gather around for a May 6th Dongers Club Monthly Meeting.

Items on the Agenda for this Months Meeting Include:

  1. Re-Certifying your MLB DFS Lineup Construction Process
  2. A preview of the weeks slate ahead
  3. An announcement
  4. Airing of the Grievances


Agenda Item #1:  MLB DFS Lineup Construction – Re-Ceritifcation

This is honestly the main topic that I wanted to bring up and it applies to most of you out there as well as me personally.  And that is a focus on making sure that we are re-evaluating the process we use to construct a MLB DFS lineup each and every day that we play.  When I say the lineup construction, I specifically am referring to the actual players we put into your lineup, hitting save and then letting it play out for that afternoon, evening or whatever slate we are on.  There’s other things that go into playing MLB DFS which are not part of this re-certification but they are still extremely important and they include

  • Contest Selection
  • Research Best Practices
  • Selecting Trusted Advisors

Each one of the items above needs to be fine tuned as well to ensure that they have consistent and reliable methods to enable success in any DFS sport but they are not the focal point of this article specifically, but I will touch on them briefly as a refresher.

Contest Selection speaks to making sure that you are entering contests that align with your goals and expectations.  Your expectation should be that you can achieve your goals with the approach you are using but also be realistic.  If you expect to win on a weekly basis in MLB DFS and you are only playing 1-3 lineups a night then you should be on 3 entry max or less tournaments or just playing a main lineup in cash and tournaments.  If your expectation is to win once a month and you are playing 20-30 lineups a day then you should be playing those in the larger field tournaments and also being using an approach that is consistent and tested with multi-entry methods.  Please note, I’m not that guy to help you with that and it’s a completely different mindset than what I focus on, which is gonna be 10 lineups or less per night and in most cases 1-3 main lineups to win Single Entries, 3 entry max or mid to higher $ tournaments that are less than 1k users.

Research Best Practices speaks specifically to what data are you looking at, how are you analyzing the trends in MLB and how are you determining your own thoughts and picks on who you like on a given daily basis.  I honestly expect everyone that is reading my article by early May has done some of their own research on their own and has a feel on a daily basis who they like and who they do not like.  After all, my articles come out roughly 2-3 hours before lineup lock and there’s a good chance you’ve already glanced at the slate quickly or will do so at some point (even if its after reading my article).  And whatever methods you are using and beliefs you have should hold true.  Maybe you value wOBA, ISO, Batting Avg, WHIP, ERA or maybe you are into hard hit rates and more of the stat cast and expected type data, maybe you value pitch types, or maybe you simply focus on players who only hit when they eat pancakes the morning of a game — whatever it is, have something you will rely upon and trust.

Selected Trusted Advisors … Basically if you are reading my article then you are valuing me as a Trusted Advisor.  Can you have more than one?  Yes.  Should you have 5?  No.  You should have selected advisers that you rely upon and will consistently help you out.  If someone is the master of mid range pitchers and thats what you want to use, then great — Use them.  If someone nails all the mid range bats, then by all means have them as well.  Just keep your circle tight and make sure that you are analyzing the analysts to determine what is good and what is bad out of their mouths.  Don’t simply respond when a play goes south and say “that pick sucked”, understand why they mentioned it and determine where you want to trust them or not.  Someone said to me via DM the other day ..

“How much of your picks is based on data and how much is gut feel….”   He asked because he didn’t always see #’s to back up the picks and wasn’t sure if that was just the writing style or if that was because it was an out of left field (perception) gut feel on a team.  And when he strays from my gut feels they usually go off.

The answer on this was within his own question.  He was seeking if he should be trusting my pick on the San Francisco Giants that night vs the Cincinnati Reds and Sonny Gray who was being recommended in some spots.  But he answered his own question by saying when he strays away from those they usually go off.  He had already seen data regarding MY gut plays in this scenario to show that it was going to be a viable play.  Now the real answer to his question was that it’s a mix.  I do look at lots of data, I do trust lots of data and lots of my picks will have that as a foundation.  But data is free and open to everyone else and data is also wrong 50% of the time believe it or not.  Folks like to say that it’s 100% accurate or feel that it will put them over the edge long term, but the reality is that simply using data will not tell you the full story in a sport like Baseball where there is high variance (and those are the exact words of data guys).  So will all my gut plays pan out?  No.  But if you do not trust the person you are reading most of the time then you shouldn’t be reading them.  Just like if you don’t trust data on someone then you wouldn’t use that data most of the time.  Make sense??

Now… Lets get Re-Certified in our lineup construction

Image result for certified animated gif

Everything I listed above is critical to the lineup construction certification process.  Without entering the right contests, having consistent research (where its 30 seconds or 30 minutes) and selected trusted advisers we will not find success in actually building a lineup.  But let’s take each lineup as a ONE lineup approach, because after all we aren’t in the certification track here for doing MULTIPLE lineups as that is an entirely different course that has different logic and methods to it where we don’t really select hitters, we select teams and weigh our ownership.

When building a lineup you have two times when you should be choosing players.

  1. A dummy lineup:  This is nothing more than reserving a spot in a contest and it’s called a dummy lineup because you are either a dummy for playing it or a dummy for changing it.  But the reality is, nowhere along the way is “play the dummy lineup players” considered part of our process.  So yes, you might say at 8:05 pm that “Many, I had Martin Prado in my dummy lineup and he just homered” but unless you are going to start using your “dummy lineup” plays as part of your Analysis/Advisor system then stop being upset when someone you randomly clicked on earlier in the day does something.  It means nothing.  …. I repeat.  It.  Means.  Nothing.   However, if you say, “I had a gut feeling on Prado” then I got two things for you.  One, stop with the crack.  Two, start trusting your gut more and then as you’ll see below Prado would be considered a play to choose from.
  2. An actual real lineup:  There’s really nothing to say here other than this is the correct lineup to play, the dummy lineup was just a shot at the “dummy lineup had 3 homers” crowd.

So now that we are building our lineup, we have a few different ways we can build and this is where you have to actually … wait for it … THINK FOR YOURSELF.  But here’s the good news.  You ARE capable of thinking for yourself when building a lineup and I’ll help with a few methods to do such.  Note:  There’s plenty of other ways to skin this cat …………..  By the way…. Dogs > Cats.  And we have a dog and all but my wife has this weird obsession with GOATS.  She thinks that they are cute and wants two of them.  I don’t know where the hell we would actually put the goats and anyone who has seen my Dog knows that the Dog would likely eat the GOATS.  But that said.  There’s a part of me that wants to one day just send her a text and say, okay fine, but I get to name the GOATS.  And if it’s two GOATS then I have the tough decision.  One is named Drew.  That’s easy.  But then is the other named Nolan or Taysom?  And anyone who is rolling their eyes right now should know our old dog was named Poydras and our current dog is named Gleason…………….  ok, where were we?

Oh, right….  Lineup construction methods

  1. You can go player by player.  In this scenario we are going SP-C-1B-2B-3B-SS-etc-etc picking and building an “optimal” lineup.  The position by position method can start with a pitcher, it can start with a hitter, it doesn’t matter.  But I will give you one recommended build that I would always advise on slates that are 7 games or more when building a single cash/single entry lineup.
    • Start with the 3 hitters you feel stand out the most who are below the ‘Top Tier’ price point.  On DraftKings this would be any hitter ~$4500 or below.  On FanDuel this would be any hitter $3500 or below.  Find three of them.  Plug them in at the spots where they stand out the most at their positions.  Then get your pitchers locked in and then fill in the rest from there.  Classic example would be first base.  Lets say that we have Goldschmidt at $4300 at home vs Vinnie Velasquez, Mitch Moreland at $4500 in Baltimore vs whomever Baltimore Rolls out and Cody Bellinger at $5700 in LA vs Atlanta.  If you happen to identify between your research and the advisors that Goldschmidt and the Cardinals are in a great spot then you don’t need to worry about Bellinger destroying Kevin Gausman.  Play Goldy here if you trust the pick.  Your trust in Goldy trumps any other player here.
  2. You can go the team/mini stack route.  This is where you say “Im gonna play Cardinals” and then you decide what 2 Cardinals to start with.  Start with 2 by default and usually correlate them close int he batting order when using this method.  From there get your “Top 3” teams built into your lineup with the players who stood out the most and then fill in the pitchers and the “Best Available” at the remaining open positions.

Those are the two most common methods for building a lineup.  Now lets talk about the secret sauce.  The part that get’s us RE-CERTIFIED.

Trusting the selection you made.

The reason I tell you to have “selected” trusted advisers and keep then focused on the areas they thrive in is because if you have too much noise you will have too many thoughts.  Remember.  We aren’t hitting “build 50 lineups” here.  We are manually building “ONE” lineup.   And when building our FIRST lineup, we can pick from many choices for sure, but it shouldn’t be the entire field.  It’s THIS lineup that we want to play.  Which will be our TOP and MAIN lineup and our FAVORITE play….  Sorry, but you gotta shit or get off the pot here and make a decision based on the advice and analysis.

You should narrow it down to your 3 favorite teams.  From there if a position doesn’t really fit with those teams then it comes down to who is the favorite 3 players at that position as one offs.  No more than 3.  I mean, have you noticed why I generally list 3 players at a position?  This isn’t by accident.  I want you to have a narrowed list to choose from for building each individual lineup.  So back to the example above.

  • Goldschmidt
  • Moreland
  • Bellinger

Gotta pick one.  Maybe you don’t like any 1B from the 3 teams who stood out as plays on that slate.  You still gotta pick one.  But here’s a question I want you to ponder.   Has anyone said Goldschmidt, Moreland or Bellinger are in bad spots?  No.  They wouldn’t have made your list if that was the case.  So now you get into the debbie downer syndrome of “yeah, well, which one?  I just dont know.  Gosh… I dont wanna pick the wrong one.  I just know I am going to pick the wrong one”.

Please.  Get a subscription somewhere else with your negativity.

All three guys have been recommended for reasons.  Some data.  Some gut feel.  Some just because they are chalk and others because the analysis says this position is weak and we can go elsewhere with someone like an Evan Longoria play at 2% ownership.

The point I am making here is that you have to TRUST your analysis and your advisers.  They go hand in hand.  Sometimes you trust your ANALYSIS over the ADVISER and sometimes its the other way around.  And guess what, the results will come in sometimes that you picked the wrong guy.  So be it.  If you aren’t comfortable with that, then play more than one lineup or play something else.  You gotta stop second guessing which leads me into the final part of the re-certification.


This is the dagger.  Always.  We tinker into something we hadn’t thought of or we tinker because our process was flawed.  Nobody should end up tinkering a lineup that was built off research and their normal process.  There is a reason your research and process brought you onto play Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker on a night when Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon are sitting right there.  Suarez and Winker stood out as good plays and were both priced in that mid range.  Bam, that builds a balanced lineup.  How often do the “SUPER TEAMS” in Sports (NBA doesnt count) end up winning it all?  How did that Eagles team years ago or the Redskins who won the off-season all the time wind up finishing??   Not great.   And the same is true here in DFS.  Build the lineup off the analysis and advisers, set it and forget it.  We only tinker if the news changes.


Agenda Item #2:  May 6th-12th Preview

Now for the fun part of this article.  I get to give bullet point gut thoughts on each series coming up.  NO GIFs this time.  That’s a Friday only thing.

Chicago @ Cleveland

  • This series won’t be on the DFS main slates as it’s 6pm start times.  So F it…  But have we not learned that Jose Ramirez was a flash in the pan by now?  Guy can’t hit fastballs.

Seattle @ New York

  • Same as above, won’t be on DFS slates.  That’s a bummer.  King Felix in Yankee Stadium gets missed.
  • Mariners bats heating back up

Boston @ Baltimore

  • Awesome, Boston adds the much needed bottom of the order bat, and Devers starts to heat up and they travel into Baltimore with good weather and the Orioles pitching.
  • Brace yourselves.  JD and Mookie have multi-HR upside every game here.  It’s the Morelands,  Pearce’s, Devers’, and yes…. Mr. Sneaky JBJ that we gotta feast on with the Sox

Texas @ Pittsburgh (Starts Tuesday)

  • LiPNC… LiPNC!!!!!!!!!!
  • LiPNC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Texas Leftieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees

LA Angels @ Detroit (Starts Tuesday)

  • Weather permitting, I like lots of sneaky offense in this series

Minnesota @ Toronto

  • There’s about 4 or 5 teams who no matter the lineup just seem to roll off 7 or 8 run games every time they annually visit a stadium each year.  Hello Twins in Toronto!
  • If you have a bias against the Twins, avoid my articles this week.  Hell, this might prompt me to make a change to my plans for Tuesday (see below)
  • I got nothin on the Jays.

Arizona @ Tampa

  • Ew?
  • I don’t think Arizona hits a HR all series

Washington @ Milwaukee

  • Dang, we’re gonna miss Gio vs his old team it looks like.
  • Washington’s lineup is bad right now and will be picked on a ton.
  • No real narratives here

Philadelphia @ St. Louis

  • Ryan Howard Series! … oh wait
  • Jean Segura.   All the Jean Segura

Miami @ Chicago Cubs

  • …………………………………

Kansas City @ Houston

  • You’ll just have to wait for the Dongers Club.  I have thoughts.  Oh do I have thoughts

San Francisco @ Colorado (Starts Tuesday)

  • Hey cool, everyone who missed San Fran in Cincy will jump on them in Coors.  SUCKERRRRRRRRRRRRRS

Cincinnati @ Oakland

  • 1990 World Series Re-Match.  Lock in Dave Stewart for some revenge.

Atlanta @ LA Dodgers

  • Freddie Freeman gets to visit LA where he is from (Long Beach area) and then Arizona (where he loves) all in one week.  Sweet mother of pearl.
  • Oh.  Walker Beuhler at home vs Atlanta.  Fun.  $$$$$$$$$$$$

NY Mets @ San Diego

  • Man….  Bartolo Colon is gonna… oh wait
  • Man….  Yoenis Cespedes loves… oh wait
  • Todd Frazier homers this series



Agenda Item #3:  Announcement

This Tuesday, May 7th I will be extremely tied up and won’t have a Dongers Club article.  I’ll get someone to fill in or more likely have FantasyBum who is on point for the early article that day expand his to combine with Chris Rose’s article.

But then the Twins in Toronto against Aaron Sanchez might prompt me to come in here and write a book about how many home runs Max Kepler is going to hit that day and why Jorge Polanco hitting for the cycle will win you a million dollars.   I mean, just play all the Twins with Jose Berrios, Freddie Freeman, Joc Pederson, Trey Mancini and Tyler Mahle and you win all the money on Tuesday.


Agenda Item #4:  Grievances

The following people are now dead to me.

  • AL East:    Ji-Man Choi, Tampa Bay Rays.   Call me when this fat waste scores more than 25 points twice in a two week stretch
  • AL Central:   Jose Ramirez.  Should have trusted the gut here.  Guy is not what we thought he was.
  • AL West:   Scott Servais for resting Domingo Santana on a Sunday and driving me off the Mariners.
  • NL East:   Bryce Harper’s price tag.
  • NL Central:   Hmm.  Nobody.  Yet.
  • NL West:   San Francisco.  I mean….   I got an Evan Longoria HR and we used them for an entire series in Cincy when they went off.  I think we are done here.  Thanks…



About Steve Renner 1215 Articles
Steve has been a part of the Full Time DFS team from the beginning when we migrated over from Scout Fantasy Sports. As a former contributor on the message forums at Scout he developed a following for his unique writing on MLB DFS. He continued this over with the launch of FullTimeDFS and built a team and platform focused on the common every day DFS player and not those who are just looking for a quick win or to build out MME in every sport for screenshot glory. Steve (sdchickens) specializes in MLB (Dongers Club), NHL (Slap Shot) and NFL (The Ambush). On a personal level he also loves College Sports and will dabble in them for DFS purposes a ton. And yes, he's an avid Saints fan.